Links and News — 2-Dec-11

Moment of Zen

I *Can* Get Satisfaction!” by John S. Wilkins (@Evolving Thoughts)

Interactions Between Secular Outpost Authors and Theistic Blog Authors

Lowder:

Parsons:

The Argument from Divine Hiddenness

Hiddenness and Belief in God” by Helen De Cruz and “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking?” by Clayton Littlejohn (HT: Servile Conformist)

  • [Editor's Note (Lowder): De Cruz, as well as several commenters, question whether a belief that God exists is necessary for a personal relationship with God. Like Littlejohn, I find it difficult to even make sense of the idea that someone could have a relationship with God without believing that God exists.]

Skepticism about the Argument from Divine Hiddenness” by Justin P. McBrayer and Philip Swenson

  • A sort of skeptical theist response to the argument from divine hiddenness.

Divine Hiddenness as Divine Mercy” by Travis Dumsday

  • This is a “First View” article for the journal Religious Studies, so I don’t expect this article to be available for free to non-subscribers for long.
  • Dumsday provides an interesting, new reply to the argument from divine hiddenness: God remains hidden to some people at some times to limit their moral culpability.
  • [Editor's Note (Lowder): I've often wondered about the moral implications, if any, of divine hiddenness. It will be interesting to evaluate Dumsday's article.]

Miscellaneous

How to Use Bayes’s Theorem” (@Foxhole Atheism): Given how many of my recent posts have used Bayes’ theorem, I thought this tutorial would be of interest to some readers.

Objective Morality and Oughts“: a video rebutting William Lane Craig’s moral argument for God’s existence

Victor Reppert on Moral Objectivity, Theism, and Naturalism

The relationship between morality and God is a recurring topic on Victor Reppert’s blog. I’ve compiled an index to what I consider to be some of his best posts on the topic.

A Moral Argument for God” (May 5, 2009)

  • An argument to God from objective moral values in turn from inalienable human rights.
  • [Editor's Note (Lowder): As it stands, this argument is unsound because premise 2 is false. Even if we accept that objective moral values are a necessary condition for inalienable human rights, it doesn't follow that objective moral values are a sufficient condition for inalienable human rights.]

More on the Moral Argument” (May 6, 2009)

  • Reppert argues that moral relativists cannot consistently remain relativists and complain when human rights are violated.
  • [Editor's Note (Lowder): Reppert is probably correct that when moral relativists believe they have been wronged in some way, they will complain in a way that betrays their belief in moral relativism. As a moral objectivist myself, however, I've never been impressed by this argument. At most, this shows the practical difficulty of being a consistent moral relativist; I do not think this provides evidence favoring the truth of moral objectivism over relativism.]

When the Secular Foundation for Morality Wears Thin” (June 25, 2009)

  • [Editor's Note (Lowder): In my opinion, item #2 on Reppert's list is the most challenging item for secular ethics.]

Reply to Beversluis on Moral Objectivity” (February 24, 2010)

  • Reppert summarizes the C. Stephen Evans’ formulation of Lewis’s moral argument for God’s existence. (Phew! Try saying that five times fast!)
  • [Editor's Note (Lowder): I found this post helpful precisely because Lewis did not clearly state the logical structure of his argument.]

The Case for Moral Objectivity” (January 30, 2009)

  • Reppert considers 5 arguments: the arguments from implied practice, underlying moral consensus, clear cases, reformers, and human rights.
  • [Editor's Note (Lowder): As a moral objectivist, it's refreshing to find a philosopher actually stating arguments for moral objectivism, as opposed to merely appealing to intuition.]

Some Arguments Against Objective Moral Values” (January 13, 2008)

  • Reppert considers 4 arguments: the arguments from disagrement, nonphysical realities, atheism, and science.
  • [Editor's Note (Lowder): Again, I think Reppert's post is helpful by providing a useful inventory or catalog of arguments against moral objectivism.]

From C.S. Lewis’ The Poison of Subjectivism” (April 6, 2009)

Link: Russell Blackford on Charity to Those We Oppose
LINK: The Jones-Parsons-Martin Exchange (1991)
Old But Still Relevant: Phil Plait on "Don't Be a Dick"
Link: "The End of the Teapot Argument for Atheism (and All Its Tawdry Imitators)" by Mark F. Sharlow
About Jeffery Jay Lowder

Jeffery Jay Lowder is President Emeritus of Internet Infidels, Inc., which he co-founded in 1995. He is also co-editor of the book, The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave.


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